The Verona Area Board of Education has decided on four finalists for the post of superintendent.

After interviews held Nov. 16-17, the board narrowed the pool of applicants from 36 to four, which were announced on Monday, Nov. 30. Those candidates, in alphabetical order, are Dr. Rainey Briggs, Laurie Burgos, Dr. Tremayne Clardy and Dr. Joseph Koch, all of whom are currently employed in education administration within the state.

“All four candidates have deep roots in education and instruction, and extensive leadership in progressive school districts like ours,” Meredith Stier Christensen, board vice president and search committee chair, said in a news release.

All four finalists will move on to the next step of the interview process, which includes Virtual “Day in the District” sessions set for Dec. 7-10 in both English and Spanish, and then another round of interviews with the school board Dec. 14-15.

The school board is expected to announce its selection for the next superintendent on Monday, Dec. 21.

District superintendent Dean Gorrell announced his upcoming retirement in January of this year, giving the board nearly 18 months to select his successor. He will retire at the end of the 2020-21 school year on June 30, 2021.

The process to name a successor officially launched in January and in April, the board selected search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates to aid them in the process.

Three of the finalists work within Dane County, as Briggs is the director of elementary education at Middleton-Cross Plains School District, Burgos is the current assistant superintendent for academic services at Verona Area School District and Clardy is the chief of schools for elementary education in the Madison Metropolitan School District. Koch, who works for the Waukesha School District as deputy superintendent, has experience in other areas throughout the state.

Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.

News Editor

Kimberly Wethal joined Unified Newspaper Group in 2018, where she serves as the news editor for four publications and primarily covers the Verona Area School District and the City of Fitchburg. She previously was an intern with UNG starting in 2013.